Chipolopolo were making their third appearance in the finals after losing twice in 1974 and 1994.
Though we are reeling under the wounds of match-fixing which saw our football governing body suspending more that 90 players, the entire technical team and two referees, we need to reflect on the lessons to draw from our victorious neighbours.
Firstly, leadership has to be professional and passionate about the game.
If they are unprofessional and lack the passion of the game, they will never emulate Zambia’s success.
I have nothing against Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, but after trying to win the cup for many years with football administrators that had never kicked the ball, Zambia’s efforts were all in vain.
What did they do? They brought in their legend Kalusha Bwalya as their association’s president and what did he do? He brought a competent coach in Frenchman Herve Renard who took the team to the Promised Land.
Bwalya had the guts to follow up on the coach the previous board had hired and let go after they had failed to agree on certain terms.
In West Africa, the Zambians played with conviction as they had vowed to win the cup in honour of their fallen football heroes.
All this success starts from the top with the appointment of football administrators, coaches and the technical team staff cascading down to the selection of players.
I think everyone will agree that it’s not only the young players that can deliver the goods.
You all saw veteran Christopher Katongo leading his troops into the battlefield. At 32 he is still going strong, but in Zimbabwe such a player is deemed too old to don the Warriors jersey.
So where are these youngsters going to get that much needed experience and the guidance?
With the country in player crisis, I think Rahman Gumbo was supposed to call our former skipper Benjani Mwaruwari to bolster our attack. I think he is still good enough to take us somewhere.
I never heard of anything like regionalism in the Zambian camp but players were chosen on merit, not on regional grounds.
Let’s also rally behind the coaches that have been given the task of taking us to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. With the corporate world now slowly coming back into football, we will prosper. Zambia had their turn, now it’s our turn. Let’s grab the chance by the throat and bring the cup home. If Zambia can do it, what will stop us from doing it as we are always beating Zambia in and out?
Come on guys we want the trophy next year.
Last week comments
My name is W Gavaza from Chitown. I am just commenting about our football from the side lines. Let me correct you on the issue of Gumbo. He is not the most successful coach like what you wrote. Never. Never. How can someone include players like Nyandoro, Choto and company in our team when at their clubs they are not playing. Football is changing every year. Look at the past Nations Cup. The better team had no big names.
Good artcle on football regionalism Brian. Mavhondo.
Well put Nkiwane. Pray the powers that be read the article.
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